Airbnb announced that it plans to verify all of its properties by next December as it takes steps to improve the safety and quality of listings.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said Wednesday that the company will work towards verifying all of its properties by next December. The company already has a verification system according to Chesky but now each listing will be checked to determine whether the photos, addresses and host information are accurate. Properties will also be examined for cleanliness, safety and to ensure basic amenities are up to scratch.
From 15 December Airbnb will either refund or rebook guests into a different listing if their bookings don't live up to company standards. In addition, it will include "better screenings" of high-risk reservations and launch a neighbour telephone hotline with live representatives to handle queries or concerns raised by people living near the properties listed on its platform.
In a series of tweets outlining the proposed changes Chesky said, "We’re going to make sure that we can stand behind every single listing, every single host." He called the reforms the "most significant" change undertaken by Airbnb since its inception 11 years ago. Airbnb didn't give details on how it will verify its listings by December 2020 but ensured that more information would follow soon, according to the New York Times.
The move to better regulate listings comes after five people were killed in a party shooting at a rented Airbnb property in San Francisco last month. The incident led to Airbnb imposing a ban on "party houses" on its platform. Meanwhile, Vice recently published a report exposing a scam ring on the app, in which fake hosts posted inaccurate listings and pressured guests into staying at properties they did not reserve.
"We’re in the business of trust, but that only works if people trust our community and people trust that when something goes wrong, Airbnb is there for you," Chesky said.